My Slope, Your Slope

The Newcomer: Jessica Howell
Age: 24
Profession: Actress, waitress, yoga instructor.
Resides: Shares a three-bedroom apartment on 24th Street and Fifth Avenue with another actress and a freelance fashion designer.
Years in the Neighborhood: One.
“I lived in Astoria for a while, but I moved here for the cheap rent and a backyard and deck. Plus there are lots of young people around. Our yard is great— wonderfully overgrown, birds chirping. In the summer, we get the tiki torches going at night, and I do yoga on the deck every morning. It’s my oasis, my Zen.”

1. Adam’s Wines and Liquors
620 Fifth Ave., nr. 17th St. 718-768-1521
“The owner here is great. He’ll try to talk you out of buying Grey Goose. He’s Polish and pours all these ‘authentic’ vodkas—he has you sample them until you change your mind.”

2. Has Beans
625 Fifth Ave., nr. 17th St. 718-499-3828
“Great iced coffee—the kind that really tastes like coffee, not watered down.”

3. Laundromat
715 Fourth Ave., at 23rd St. 718-369-4975
“Lots of kids running around, and telenovelas playing all day. And there’s an old Asian man who lectures me about gambling.”

4. El Rincon Familiar
651 Fifth Ave., nr. 19th St. 718-965-4881
“They advertise as Tex-Mex, but it’s really Mex-Mex. It’s always super-packed.”

5. Balance Life
624 Fifth Ave., nr. 18th St. 718-768-1091
“Great produce, supercheap organic food. They have my kombucha—it’s fermented tea.”

6. Eagle Provisions
628 Fifth Ave., nr. 18th St. 718-499-0026
“Literally 1,500 kinds of beer here. Serbian beers, Polish beers, Czech … even three gluten-free beers. Lots of strange meats, too. I get most of my groceries here and at Balance Life.”

7. Guerrero Food Center
722 Fifth Ave., at 23rd St. 718-499-8653
“This bodega used to be a little bit scary, but now it’s great. They’ve started carrying organic stuff. They’re also open late on weekends, which is a big deal around here.”

8. Suki Sushi
631 Fifth Ave., nr. 18th St. 718-768-4111
“Intensely affordable.”

9. Monk Thrift Shop
579 Fifth Ave., nr. 16th St.; 718-788-2950
“Really the only place to shop for clothes in the immediate area. I bought a date dress here once—this cute little stripy thing.”

10. Under Minerva
656 Fifth Ave., nr. 19th St. 718-788-0170
“It’s an art gallery, but it’s not just art: They have morning meditation sessions and hold discussions and events.”

11. Quarter Bar & Café
676 Fifth Ave., nr. 20th St. 718-788-0989
“They have a ‘word of the day’ thing where if you use their word correctly in a sentence, you get half off drinks. It’s always something impossibly obscure, like noctic.

12. Sidecar Bar & Grill
560 Fifth Ave., nr. 16th St. 718-369-0077
“Great jukebox—a mix of old country and new hits. Sometimes if you stay late, they’ll bring out the Wii.”

The Old-timer: Peter Choma
Age: 63
Profession: Vice-president of a financial company.
Resides: Two-family house on Prospect Avenue near Fifth Avenue, with the “prettiest yard on the block.”
Years in the Neighborhood: 55, “give or take a year or two.”
“My father bought this house in 1976, and I inherited it when he died, in 1992. I was raised just down the block. When I was a kid, it was a nice neighborhood, then things got rough. Now you have all these people from Manhattan moving here, girls living twenty to a room. Who wants to live like that? But I’ll tell you something—these days, if you own a house on my block, you don’t have to work.”

13. Eagle Provisions
628 Fifth Ave., nr. 18th St. 718-499-0026
“It has all these delicacy foods. I’m very good to Peter Choma— if I want it, I buy it. It’s where I get my cold cuts and pickles. I know the owners, and the service is always excellent.”

14. Milan Restaurant
710 Fifth Ave., at 22nd St.; 718-788-7384
“Veal cutlets, big salads, potato soup, very nice people, home-style cooking. I eat like a horse even though I’ve weighed the exact same since I was 16.”

15. The Bagel Factory
612 Fifth Ave., at 17th St. 718-768-0461
“I like my coffee to have more kick to it. Here, it really is good.”

16. EZ Clean and White
565 Fifth Ave., nr. 16th St. 718-768-5371
“I drop off my laundry once a week and pick it up the next night. I could sit in there on a Saturday afternoon, but who wants to do that? So I pay an extra dollar or two, big deal.”

17. Lenny’s Pizza
594 Fifth Ave., nr. Prospect Ave. 718-788-8928
“It’s been here for 30 or 40 years. I go maybe once a week, only because it’s convenient.”

18. Met Foods
595 Fifth Ave., nr. 16th St. 718-499-5248
“It’s where I run my daily errands: milk, bread, basic necessities. It’s been there for years, husband-and-wife owners—they’re old school.”

19. Time Galleries
562 Fifth Ave., nr. 16th St. 718-788-8300
“I’ve gotten some antique tables here, a chandelier, clocks. They buy whole estates. Besides this, there’s not much in the way of shopping around here—unless you want to look like a hoochie mama.”

20. Park Slope Plumbing Supplies
601 Fifth Ave., at Prospect Ave. 718-832-0400
“In my house, I do all the plumbing and electrical work myself. I helped my father a lot when I was young, learned from him.”

21. Jasmine’s Floral Design
543 Fifth Ave., nr. 15th St. 718-369-7323
“I’ll buy flowers here for my mother, my daughter. It’s nothing to brag about, but it’s nice for a local place.”

22. Holy Family Parish
205 14th St., nr. Fourth Ave., entrance on 13th St.; 718-768-9471
“I went to grammar school here. The school’s closed now, but I go to church maybe monthly. I don’t see that many younger people; religion’s a problem with that generation.”

23. Neergaard Pharmacies
454 Fifth Ave., nr. 10th St. 718-768-0600
“It’s been in the neighborhood since I was a kid. Everything from crutches to pills.”

My Slope, Your Slope